Building approvals ensure buildings are constructed to standards that address health and amenity, safety (structural and fire) and sustainability.
Applications for building approvals are assessed against the building assessment provisions which include the Building Code of Australia and the Queensland Development Code.
The approval process involves assessment by an accredited building certifier against the Building Act 1975 and associated regulations and standards, and the use of a building permit and subsequent inspections to ensure compliance
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Dwellings and Additions
Before constructing a dwelling or making an addition or extension to your existing home, you will likely need to submit a building application.
Building Applications are necessary for these types of building activities:
- new buildings
- alterations or additions to existing buildings
- swimming pools
- sheds (including garden sheds)
- roofed or unroofed patio additions
- pergolas attached to dwellings
- the removal or the demolition of buildings
- material change of use; and
- sub-division of land (reconfiguration of parcel/lot)
These approvals are also known as building permits and can be obtained from Council or a private building certifier.
Some aspects of domestic building work such as the maximum height, setback or character of a building may be controlled under a Council's planning scheme and a planning permit is required from Council.
The Queensland Government has introduced new pool safety laws aimed at further reducing the incidences of drowning and serious immersion injuries of young children in swimming pools. These laws affect new and existing pools.
Under these laws, you need to:
- Have a compliant pool and barrier fence. Fine out what it means to comply here.
- Register your pool on the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) website
Pool Compliance Inspections
Council's licensed pool safety inspectors carry out pool inspection, issue pool safety certificates and forward certificates to teh state government for inclusion on their register.
To arrange for an inspection and pool safety certificate, contact Council on (07) 4621 8000.
Building Approvals are generally not needed for fences if:
- It is associated with an existing house (or other residential use)
- It is less that two metres high
- It is not associated with a swimming pool
- It would not restrict water run-off from adjoining properties
If you proposed fence does not meet all the above requirements, you may need to submit a building application.
When is a building approval required?
If a fence is higher that two metres above natural ground level, a Class 10 building approval is required for the fence.
Generally, the owner of the adjoining land must equally contribute to the cost of constructing a dividing fence. You'll need to agree on the type of fence, the cost, and how it will be built. It's a good idea to put an agreement in writing.
The Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011, defines the law relating to construction and repairing fences that divide adjoining land.
Sheds, garages, carports, patios, decks, pergolas and shipping containers require building permits but do not generally require development applications (planning approvals).